Retro Review: Luigis Mansion

This republished review was originally written in 2001, this review is unedited and appears as it did back then. We hope this review gives you an idea of how the reviewer felt at the time and at the end you’ll see a small review from today where you can see how well the game held up over time.

My own game, my own sodding game at last, Oh while Mario has fun in 3D worlds with lush green hills and beaches, all I get is a sodding castle full of scary ghosts while I cack my pants. Thanxs.

Luigis mansion may not be your typical Mario game, hell it doesn’t even star him, but his skinnier, shaggy and Scooby like brother. Luigis mansion is none of the typical Mario type platforms you’ve come to expect. Imagine if you will, Ghost busters, and that’s the game for you.

Luigi has won a mansion in a competition he didn’t even enter, Mario rush’s off ahead to find the mansion, saying he’ll meet Luigi there later. Luigi, after spending hours trying to find it, finally does. But there’s no Mario. Checking inside he gets an eerie feeling. Ghosts appear and chase after him, but he escapes just in time as a weird little man with a vacuum cleaner stuns the ghosts, allowing them enough time to escape.

Luigi has to use this vacuum to suck up the ghosts, Ghost Busters stylee. You also have a torch. To catch as ghost, you first have to shine the torch in their eyes, they hate light see, and this will stun them enough for you to be able to suck them up with your vacuum. You use the left control stick to move Mario around and the right C stick to control your direction. Using both at the same time takes a bit of practice but becomes second nature after a few minutes and allows total control over Luigi, which is what you’ll need.

The game basically see’s you going around the mansion clearing rooms of ghosts, solving small puzzles to get ghosts to appear and collecting money. On the way you’ll find out what really happened to Mario among other things. Collecting money found scattered about helps you get better portraits. All ghosts once captured are put into a machine and turned into portraits, for your sadistic viewing purposes.Luigis Mansion 1

The graphics in the game are simply stunning. With everything casting a realistic shadow, with the light from your torch moving them, making them stretch and twist around corners. It really effects everything that you see, even the ghosts look scary in a cartoony sort of way. Luigi has a wide range of expressions from gasps of fear, to clattering of his teeth and err, gasps of fear. In rooms he has completed he even whistles the annoyingly catchy theme tune. And a push of the A button screams out Marios name which you cant help but smile at.

As it stands, Luigis could be called the kiddies version of Resident evil, you have puzzles to solve, and ghosts to capture and kill. Rooms are locked until you find the key for it and bosses happen on every level. The game is fun to play, looks nice, sounds nice, but it is missing something. There’s just not that feeling to carry on. It all gets a bit brain numbing.

You’ll play because you want to complete it, not because you want to see what happens next, you know what’ll happen next. Another room full of ghosts to capture. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a good game, but more of a renter than a game to own and keep. You’ll play it, you’ll enjoy it, but you wont come back to it. Once you have done it once, seen it all you wont feel the need to do it all over again. As stated, it’s a bit mind numbing, you play it because you know you should get your moneys worth.

Luigis Mansion 2

2015 Re-Review
With Luigis Mansion 2 having been released on the 3DS you’d be forgiven to thinking its the better game. You’d be wrong, which is why you’d be forgiven because this is the perfect game. It never outstays its welcome unlike the sequel and is still gorgeous to look at. This was a Gamecube launch game and just like Rogue Leader it stayed one of the best looking games on the system and even today it can still teach a thing or two to current games.

The game itself holds up really well, its still a complete joy to play and unlike our original review we actually think now that it is worth owning and keeping. Whilst its true the game can be completed in under 10 hours they are 10 hours of pure perfection as the game never misses a beat and never does anything wrong. So if you’ve played Luigis Mansion 2 and are wanting more, get this and you too will see why it is the better game.